Monday, November 16, 2015

Weigh in NOW Against Misguided, Self-Serving GOP Legislation to Rig Elections & Destroy Transparency

For Release: Monday - November 16, 2015

GAB Destruction and Campaign Finance Deform Votes Scheduled
for Today While Far More Important Issues
Occupy Wisconsinites' Attention

Tone-deaf GOP Determined to Proceed with Selfish,
Self-Serving Agenda No Matter What

With Wisconsin's – and the World's – concern and attention now rightfully focused on the terrible events taking place in France and in Lebanon – and the accelerating possibility of wider conflict and increased human suffering – Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos still seems determined to proceed with his hyper-partisan, misguided and completely self-serving agenda to rig Wisconsin elections for Republicans and enhance his own personal power. Today, in an "Extraordinary Session," Vos hopes to ram through the Assembly the destruction of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and the virtually complete deregulation of Wisconsin's campaign finance laws, flooding the state with secret, undisclosed money.

If there was ever a more tone-deaf, selfish action undertaken by a state politician and political party in the last 50 years, we challenge you to tell us what it is. It is tantamount to Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

Today is the last chance for Wisconsinites to weigh in with legislators against the GAB Destruction (Assembly Bill 388) and the Campaign Finance Deform (Assembly Bill 387) legislation that, together with creating an exemption for politicians only, from being subjected to investigation for political corruption under the state's "John Doe" law, has been the sole focus of the Republican-controlled State Assembly and State Senate for the last three months.

Last weekend, in the middle of the night, the GOP State Senate pushed through it's slight modifications to Campaign Finance Deform and GAB Destruction. The State Senate vote on November 6-7th was in and of itself, quite literally one of Wisconsin's darkest moments ever. It set the stage for today's perceived urgent need to play out this Greek Tragedy to its final, horrific denouement. All of this was completely avoidable and it never should have happened.

Sunday's Wisconsin State Journal editorial: "Bills will kill GAB, protect dark money" provides a damning closing argument against AB 387 and 388. It further calls on Governor Scott Walker to show unexpected wisdom and leadership by vetoing both measures should they pass the State Assembly (as expected) probably later tonight or perhaps early Tuesday morning (more bad legislating in the dark of night, out of the public's view). Read the WSJ editorial.

We have said from the beginning that few, if any, real Wisconsinites support AB 387 or AB 388. The chief proponent of these measures seems to be Eric O'Keefe, the shadowy long-time head of Wisconsin Club for Growth, who has been the driving force behind exempting political corruption from the John Doe law, eviscerating and re-partisanizing the GAB, and, in legalizing what had long been illegal in Wisconsin – the coordination and collusion between candidates with outside, independent special interest groups who run "issue ads" before elections, which are really campaign ads masquerading as issue advocacy.

O'Keefe is also the puppet master who paved the way for the conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in July to "retroactively decriminalize" such illegal campaign coordination (and thereby "absolve" Scott Walker of any "sin" during the 2012 recall election), when his Wisconsin Club for Growth spent over $8.5 million (in outside spending) to assist in electing the four conservative justices who issued one of the most flawed, illogical and contorted legal opinions in the history of Wisconsin jurisprudence.

State Representative Terese Berceau (D-Madison), Common Cause in Wisconsin and other reformers, on Friday, announced an alternative campaign finance plan to help lead Wisconsin out of the deep darkness now being created by Vos, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Eric O'Keefe. But that campaign will commence in earnest after the vote today to deform campaign finance law and to destroy the GAB.

Today – now – you must contact your State Representative and demand that she or he vote against both AB 387 (campaign finance deform) and AB 388 (GAB destruction). If you don't know who your State Representatives are, go here.

Never underestimate your ability as a citizen to effect change. Your voices helped convince three Republican State Representatives to vote against the GAB destruction measure in October, and you helped convince GOP State Senator Rob Cowles of Green Bay to vote against the campaign finance deform bill last weekend. So please weigh in now, and do so again if you have done so before.

Above all, never give in. Never surrender. On Wisconsin!


Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!

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